Just Google it...

Samy Mansour
Wednesday 04 Nov 2009

Google's Swiss HQ is part office, part adventure playground...

Google is not a conventional company, nor does it intend to become one. This is readily apparent in their new offices for Google’s EMEA Engineering Hub in Zurich, Switzerland, where the design cultivates an energised and inspiring work environment that is relaxed but focused, and buzzing with activities.

The new Google office is about functionality and flexibility in the personal workspace and choice and diversity in the community areas, creating an environment that holistically supports the 'Zooglers' in their work and well-being. The research undertaken by the architects extended beyond purely functional aspects, and provided information about theZooglers personality types, representational systems, values and motivational factors. This ensured that the design process was sharply focused on aspects of the environment that mattered most to the Zooglers in their working lives.

The concept of the communal areas like the Library or the Games Room relates directly to the project research conclusions and wider research that indicates relaxation to be crucial to innovation and stimulating original thought. Work and play are not mutually exclusive, or as Google puts it: “it is possible to code and pass the puck at the same time”.

The completed Google building is a true reflection of a forward-thinking company that was prepared to adopt innovative approaches proposed by the architectural team to determine the optimal design concept to nurture the talent and creativity of their Zurich employees.

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